CLARKE AND DOORNBOS TO DRIVE FOR MINARDI TEAM USA IN 2007 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, March 28, 2007 - Minardi Team USA is pleased to announce that Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos have signed to compete in the 2007 Champ Car World Series with the...
CLARKE AND DOORNBOS TO DRIVE FOR MINARDI TEAM USA IN 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, March 28, 2007 - Minardi Team USA is pleased to announce that Dan Clarke and Robert Doornbos have signed to compete in the 2007 Champ Car World Series with the Indianapolis-based squad. After a successful pre-season testing program, the team will debut its new DP01 chassis next week, at the season-opening event in Las Vegas.
Britain's Dan Clarke drove for the team in 2006, finishing second in rookie-of-the-year standings after claiming a pole position and a third-place finish during the season. Clarke joined CTE Racing-HVM from the prestigious British Formula 3 International Series, where he earned seven podiums and one victory in 2005, his rookie season. While competing in Formula Ford in 2004, Clarke also won the famous Formula Ford Festival, at Brands Hatch.
"I've been waiting and hoping for this news for a few weeks now, and I'm relieved it has finally been confirmed," says Clarke. "Although I haven't been in the new car yet, I've kept in close contact with the team and attended the tests, while also concentrating on maintaining peak fitness, so I'm as prepared as I can be at this stage without having driven the DP01. I would like to thank Paul (Stoddart) and Keith (Wiggins), for putting their faith in me, and I look forward to building on my debut season and bringing the team strong results."
Dutchman, Robert Doornbos, has extensive single-seater experience, having raced for Jordan, Minardi and Red Bull in Formula One, and will combine his Minardi Team USA Champ Car activities this year with testing commitments for the Red Bull Racing F1 team.
"I'm really pleased to be racing with Paul Stoddart, Keith Wiggins and Minardi Team USA," says Doornbos. "It's obviously a different Minardi team from the one I last drove for, in Formula One, but there is still the same, close-knit, family feeling about it that I like.
"In addition, the engineering staff is strong, and we've made some solid progress developing the new DP01 Champ Car during the pre-season tests. I'm sure that will stand us in good stead once we arrive in Las Vegas, for the first race of the new season. I'm very excited at the prospect of being able to race in a full championship and, hopefully, be in a position to win races and challenge for the title."
Team Co-owner, Paul Stoddart, comments, "It's excellent news that Minardi Team USA has been able to sign the exciting driver pairing of Robert Doornbos and Dan Clarke for its first assault on the Champ Car World Series. The team will aim to hit the ground running at next weekend's season-opening race, in Las Vegas, and will be looking to improve on its strong fourth-place finish in last year's Championship standings."
Keith Wiggins says, "I am very happy with the driver line-up we have for 2007. As we all know, it is a key ingredient to have good-quality drivers in your cars to be successful, especially as the equipment continues to be more equal among all the teams. This is not always possible in the motor sport business, but we, as a team, have always strived to get the best package we can in terms of performance, and have not lost sight of this, even during a rough year. I am therefore especially happy that we have been able to get these two in our team, with the added bonus of also having a quality reserve driver, in Zsolt Baumgartner. Both Robert and Dan have talent, and both have experience of different kinds, which will help the team progress to the next step, following a positive 2006 season."